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Wall to Wall Inspiration

Posted by Julie O'Malley on August 27, 2014

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Believe in the Power of WorkGoodwill has a rich heritage and one of the best ways to learn all about it is to take a stroll through the James O. Wright Center for Work and Training. You can’t help but come away with a strong sense of the Goodwill mission, history and culture.  Named after James O. Wright, who served 51 years on Goodwill’s Board of Directors, it was designed to meet the special needs of the population we serve.  The entire building is on one level and completely accessible.

The moment you step inside, you will see our core value “Believe in the Power of Work” prominently displayed on the main wall.

DD_JOW_Wall_ArtClose by you’ll find a giant sized Donald Driver, dedicated Goodwill spokesperson. The scale seems to match #80’s larger than life persona and sizeable contribution he’s made to the mission. See more of Driver's involvement with Goodwill here.

Cafe_1919_CollageCafe 1919, Goodwill’s Culinary Institute, is across the room.  Aptly named for the year our Goodwill was founded, it serves as another nod to history. Cafe 1919 not only serves as the foundation for our Culinary Institute; it also serves as the cafeteria for the employees of the James O. Wright Center.

Inspiring artwork from talented artists with disabilities enrolled in the Artistic Enhancement Program is exhibited throughout the James O. Wright building. Take a look at a bit of that gallery here.

Artistic Enhancement Program  Artistic Enhancement Program   










Sprinkled among the art you will see the Goodwill Mission Statement and motivational quotes from our long-time former CEO John Miller.


The main corridor features a history wall marking the numerous milestones since Goodwill was founded in 1902 in Boston by Rev. Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister. Rev Helms collected used goods, hired those in need to mend the goods which were resold to pay wages. It was a successful model and the Goodwill philosophy of “a hand up, not a hand out” was born. Times have changed, but the original vision remains. 

John Miller History Wall

The Goodwill story is an inspiring one, and the walls inside the James O. Wright Center tell it well.


Written by Julie O'Malley

Julie joined Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin, Inc. as Manager of Sales and Business Development in 2013. She brings more than 15 years of management experience in the healthcare and consumer packaged goods industries. She received her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin.
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Mission Support Center
Tel: (414) 847-4200

James O. Wright Center forWork & Training
Tel: (414) 353-6400

Metropolitan Chicago -
Tel: (312) 994-1440